Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increased contraceptive supply linked to fewer unintended pregnancies

Date:
February 25, 2011
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
Rates of unintended pregnancies and abortions decrease significantly when women receive a one-year supply of oral contraceptives, instead of being prescribed one- or three-month supplies, a new study shows.

Rates of unintended pregnancies and abortions decrease significantly when women receive a one-year supply of oral contraceptives, instead of being prescribed one- or three-month supplies, a UCSF study shows.

Related Articles


Researchers observed a 30 percent reduction in the odds of pregnancy and a 46 percent decrease in the odds of an abortion in women given a one-year supply of birth control pills at a clinic versus women who received the standard prescriptions for one -- or three-month supplies.

The researchers speculate that a larger supply of oral contraceptive pills may allow more consistent use, since women need to make fewer visits to a clinic or pharmacy for their next supply.

"Women need to have contraceptives on hand so that their use is as automatic as using safety devices in cars, " said Diana Greene Foster, PhD, lead author and associate professor in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. "Providing one cycle of oral contraceptives at a time is similar to asking people to visit a clinic or pharmacy to renew their seatbelts each month."

Foster also is director of research for Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, part of the UCSF Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health. Her study's findings appear online in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The researchers linked 84,401 women who received oral contraceptives in January 2006 through Family PACT (Planning, Access, Care, Treatment), a California family planning program, to Medi-Cal data showing pregnancies and births in 2006. Through Family PACT, some family planning clinics are able to dispense a one-year supply of pills on-site.

Oral contraceptive pills are the most commonly used method of reversible contraception in the United States, the team states. While highly effective when used correctly (three pregnancies per 1,000 women in the first year of use), approximately half of women regularly miss one or more pills per cycle, a practice associated with a much higher pregnancy rate (80 pregnancies per 1,000 women in the first year of use), according to the team.

The findings of this study have implications for women using oral contraceptives across the country. Most oral contraceptive users in the United States get fewer than four packs at a time; nearly half need to return every month for resupply, according to a 2010 study published in Contraception.

Making oral contraceptive pills more accessible may reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy and abortion, while saving taxpayers' dollars, the researchers state. If the 65,000 women in the analysis who received either one or three packs of pills at a time had experienced the same pregnancy and abortion rates as women who received a one-year supply, almost 1,300 publicly funded pregnancies and 300 abortions would have been averted, according to the team.

"The evidence indicates that health plans and public health programs may avoid paying for costly unintended pregnancies by increasing dispensing limits on oral contraceptives," said Foster. "Improving access to contraceptive methods reduces the need for abortion and helps women to plan their pregnancies."

Co-authors are Denis Hulett, Mary Bradsberry, Phillip Darney, MD, MSc, and Michael Policar, MD, MPH, all with the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health, UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, and San Francisco General Hospital.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Diana Greene Foster, Denis Hulett, Mary Bradsberry, Philip Darney, Michael Policar. Number of Oral Contraceptive Pill Packages Dispensed and Subsequent Unintended Pregnancies. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2011; 117 (3): 566 DOI: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3182056309

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "Increased contraceptive supply linked to fewer unintended pregnancies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223092408.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2011, February 25). Increased contraceptive supply linked to fewer unintended pregnancies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223092408.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "Increased contraceptive supply linked to fewer unintended pregnancies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110223092408.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins